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After Christmas and before New Year's Day there the Holiday Classic in Torrey Pines, Calif., has been high school basketball staple for many years. The 2013 edition of the tournament will once again feature plenty of top teams from across the country. When you get a collection of talent like that together, there are generally going to be some Arizona recruits involved.
That is certainly the case once again this year, so here's a look at who to keep an eye on with the tournament beginning Thursday.
Parker Jackson-Cartwright: The future Arizona point guard was one of the first recruits to commit to the Wildcats early in the year. Almost a year later and the Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola standout is signed and playing his final season with the Cubs. A four-star recruit, Jackson-Cartwright is off to a nice start with Loyola this year and he will be looking to keep that going against Sacramento (Calif.) Sheldon in his team's first game Thursday.
That contest is scheduled for a 5:25 p.m. start at Torrey Pines High School.
Ivan Rabb: The Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd big man was one of the stars of the week last week in Las Vegas at the Tarkanian Classic, and now he will have another chance to shine in front of plenty of onlookers in San Diego. Rabb has continued to develop his game and it came to head in his battle with two other elite big men in Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman players Stephen Zimmerman and Chase Jeter last week at the Orleans Arena.
Arizona continues to do well with Rabb, who is expected to trim his list down in the not-too-distant future. Bishop O'Dowd's first game of the Holiday Classic will be against Seattle (Wash.) O'Dea at 8:35 p.m. at Torrey Pines on Thursday.
Justin Simon: Another junior to keep an eye on this week is the Temecula (Calif.) Temecula Valley recruit. Simon made a name for himself during the summer travel circuit and that has continued into his junior season at Temecula Valley. Arizona is one one of the newest schools involved in his recruitment as it extended an offer to him earlier this month.
Simon is currently rated as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, and his stock continues to rise among college programs. Temecula Valley will have its first game Thursday at 11:05 a.m. at La Costa Canyon High School against Seattle (Wash.) Roosevelt in the American Division.
T.J. Leaf:Among the more impressive sophomores at the event will be El Cajon (Calif.) Foothills Christian star. The four-star prospect more than held his own last week at the Tarkanian Classic against 2014 Arizona signee Stanley Johnson, and he will be looking to continue his success from early this season at the Holiday Classic.
The versatile four man has certainly already turned heads in his young career, and there are plenty of schools already recruiting him hard. Arizona has been involved some too, so he's one to keep an eye on moving forward.
Foothills Christian's first game is set to tip at 12:40 p.m. at La Costa Canyon against Los Angeles (Calif.) Windward in the American Division on Thursday.
Cody Riley: There's still a long way to go in the process for any freshman recruit, but the Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon big man has already generated plenty of buzz as he gets into the thick of his first season on the high school level. College programs have known about the 6-foot-8 post player from his time playing with older recruits on the travel circuit, but now he is making his presence felt on the high school level as well.
A few schools have already decided to offer the freshman, and Arizona is one of the schools that has been involved.
Sierra Canyon will open the event Thursday against Ludowici (Ga.) Faith Baptist at Torrey Pines at 12:40 p.m.
For the full schedule of events visit theholidayclassic.org, and continue to check back with GOAZCATS.com for updates throughout the event.
Click Here to view this Link.Matt Moreno
GOAZCATS.com Senior Recruiting Editor